I try to make sense of my feelings on this issue because I know that death is the inevitable conclusion to every life. It shouldn’t trouble me so much, but it does.
I think a lot has to do with the eyes. The light goes out of them. On the face of it they don’t look any different, and yet they are. I remember once writing in a story which opened with the MC finding a dead woman lying on the floor of a carriage in a tube train: ‘living people don’t have eyes like that.’
And maybe the eyes are the indicator to the real issue: the life force has gone. Gone where? The life force is so little understood, and yet it must stand as the most magical and mysterious feature available to us at this level. The losing of it, therefore, is the matter of most consequence and the source of the deepest pain. Even when it’s only a squirrel. Only? Whatever the life force is, I imagine it’s essentially the same for everything that lives.
I suppose that’s why it troubles me so much, and always will.